Finding good employment for felons is one of the most difficult problems that ex-convicts encounter. Since the economic downturn has left many unemployed, finding high-paying or even steady employment for felons has become very tough. One of the best ways to get a recession-proof job is to choose a career in a growing industry such as health care. Nursing, in particular, is a career that offers many advantages for ex-felons.
Felon Job Opportunities: Nursing
Nursing as a profession is now very much in demand. The U.S. has such a serious shortage of nurses that foreign nurses are being recruited in mass to fill the gap. From now until 2014, registered nurses are expected to create the second largest number of new jobs in the U.S. among all occupations, according to the Department of Labor.
In addition, the pay is good and there are numerous job opportunities for felons since nurses can work in many different places. These include hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, residential homes, occupational health services, prisons, schools, leisure cruise ships, etc. Nurses can also work for the U.S. armed forces and voluntary non-profit organizations.
As a career choice for ex-felons, the medical field is one of the most prestigious and has the best potential for job security since there is a severe imbalance between demand and availability of qualified personnel. Not only are there plentiful job opportunities for felons who are qualified nurses, career advancement is also expected to be rapid due to the shortage of experienced nurses.
Felon Friendly Jobs: How to Become a Nurse
Nurses focus on the individual’s needs and provide care, counseling and advice. This career is for people who have the qualities of compassion and patience as well as skills in critical thinking and problem-solving.
All paths to a nursing career must begin with a high school diploma or a GED.
The next step is to take either a diploma or degree course in nursing so that you will gain the proper clinical knowledge needed. You can finish an associate degree course in nursing in two years while a bachelor’s degree in nursing takes four years to complete.
Then you will have to pass the state board exam for nursing to get your license. At this point you can get a job as a nurse.
Even after you get your nursing license, you can still choose to continue your education and specialize. Examples of nursing specialties are nurse anesthesiologists, nurse practitioners, legal nurse investigators, critical care nurses, etc.
Employment for Felons: Nursing License
Of course, if you know anything about nursing the first question in your mind right now is whether or not you are eligible for a nursing license if you have a felony conviction.
You will have to check your state’s laws about nursing licenses. Call your nursing board, explain your situation including the details about your felony and ask what you will need to do to get a license or to sit for the nursing exam.
All states will have stringent screening procedures in place for all registered nurses but most likely, having a felony does not automatically bar you from the profession.
The California Board of Registered Nursing, for example, evaluates each application they receive on a case by case basis and that there is no specific type of felony conviction that will disqualify an applicant automatically. If you have a felony and there is some question regarding your eligibility for a nursing license, you will have to submit some proofs of rehabilitation. Your case will then be judged depending on the nature, severity and how recent you were charged as well as rehabilitation and other extenuating factors.
In other words, you will have to jump through more hoops than a regular applicant but if you can show that you have been rehabilitated then you can still work as a registered nurse, especially if it has been many years since the felony.
Nursing Job for Felons: Summary
Nursing jobs for felons are a good choice for people who desire a secure, high-paying job with lots of potential for career advancement. You will also get to help others who are in need of care. Nursing jobs for felons are for people who have compassion for the sick and problem-solving skills. A nursing diploma or bachelor’s degree is needed to apply for nursing. You will also have to pass the state board exam to get a nursing license. Job opportunities for felons with a nursing license are not limited to hospitals. You can get employment for felons who are registered nurses in places like clinics, cruise ships, nursing homes, schools, etc.